Business and children’s rights
The business sector must respect and promote children’s rights. Find out how.
Nowadays, the business sector affects everyone’s life, including children, whether as consumers, children of employees, digital platform users, or through their exposure to marketing and advertising, among others. Despite this, most companies in the region still do not consider children as a priority within their operations, leaving children-related business risks out of their impact assessments.
In 2012, UNICEF, the United Nations Global Compact, and Save the Children launched the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBPs), which guide companies on different measures to respect and promote children’s rights across three areas of application: workplace, marketplace, and surrounding community and environment.
In occasion of the 10th anniversary of the CRBPs, UNICEF and Deloitte S-Latam published the results of a regional survey directed to 305 companies operating in Latin America. The survey shows that 60 per cent of those companies do not include a focus on children when identifying, preventing, mitigating or responding to the impact of their operations on human rights.
What has UNICEF done to get the business sector to further respect and promote children’s rights?
During the past decade, UNICEF’s work has revolved around both the CRBP's promotion and the development of tools and guiding resources for the business sector. Those tools have assisted companies and industry sectors in applying more solid prevention measures, while also better managing their impact on children’s lives. UNICEF has worked along with governments and multi-stakeholder platforms to incorporate a children-centered approach within national policies regulating business and human rights. In addition, UNICEF has contributed to evidence generation efforts to advocate for regulatory changes further protecting children’s rights in the context of business activity.
UNICEF promoted several programmatic agendas to accelerate the adoption of corporate practices not only by companies, but also other relevant stakeholders that make up the business ecosystem. These agendas include:
• Promotion of family-friendly policies in the workplace.
• Protection of children in the digital environment.
• Promotion of healthy food environments.
• Promotion of responsible marketing and advertising that respect children’s rights.
Results of the business sector action
Is the business sector respecting and promoting children’s rights in the region?
According to UNICEF and Deloitte S-Latam regional survey results, the business sector has become increasingly aware of the impact of its economic activity on children’s rights. The sector has taken steps to strengthen or adapt its corporate practices, with special regards to family-friendly policies at the workplace. Nevertheless, business responsibility to respect children’s rights is not yet systematic in the region.
Download the main results of the survey and the recommendations made by UNICEF to companies.
Voices from the business sector in the region
Call to action
What does UNICEF recommend to companies as next steps?
“In the past few years, the business sector in the region has become increasingly aware of its impact on children’s lives. From now on, it is crucial that all companies, large and SMEs, integrate a children’s rights approach into their corporate due diligence. This should not be applied occasionally, but rather explicitly, systematically, and routinely”.
Javier Martos, UNICEF Chief of Corporate Alliances for Latin America and the Caribbean
- Global CRBP's stocktaking report - Charting the Course (ENG y SPA)
- Presentation of the global CRBP's stocktaking report at the Global Compact 2022 Leaders' Summit: webinar
- CRBP celebrated in the region: video
- UNICEF – Deloitte S-Latam regional report on online survey to companies
- Presentation of UNICEF - Deloitte S-Latam regional report results: webinar
- UNICEF – Deloitte S-Latam regional report: press release
- Corresponsables media group on UNICEF – Deloitte S-Latam regional report: press release
- Corresponsables media group on UNICEF’s agenda around the CRBP's in Latin America and the Caribbean: interview
- Session on CRBP's in LAC led by UNICEF at the VII Regional Forum on Business and Human
- Children are everyone's business: UNICEF Workbook 2.0
CRBP celebration in the region:
- Business Forum held by UNICEF Dominican Republic: press release and video
- Webinar "Children's Rights and Business Principles" organized by UNICEF Nicaragua with the participation of business stakeholders and companies in Nicaragua
- Webinar "Children's Rights and Business Principles" organized by UNICEF Costa Rica, AED Costa Rica and the Paniamor Foundation.